Doing the work

Regular readers of this blog know that every once in a while I present an issue without making a judgment or giving my views. I just present the facts as I see them.

Why do I do this?

Firstly, to make us think. Merely raising an issue forces me think much more deeply about it. And I am hopeful that it makes you, the reader, also spend some time reflecting on the issue.

Secondly, to solicit your views. Your views are important to me and, I would like to think, to other readers as well. And, by the way, yes, I welcome your comments telling me I’m wrong, especially when they are told convincingly.

And thirdly, to encourage public debate. Constructive discussion will help us determine if an issue is important and, if so, how we, collectively, can address it.

My last entry “Construction waste” was one such issue. The idea was to raise an issue that many of us know about, but don’t necessarily talk about. And the idea is to talk about it publicly so that we, especially those who are responsible for it, are forced to take action.

Construction waste is dumped not only around Memelakha. The forest below the road between Langjophakha and Taba is another favorite spot. And I’ve seen construction waste dumped below the highway opposite the Semtokha Dzong and even on other side of the RBG garage near the Tashichodzong parking lot.

We all know that there’s a lot of construction taking place in Thimphu. And that the waste that’s generated must be discarded. But the question is where? Nobody seems to know. And nobody knows because it looks like we don’t have a landfill for construction debris.

If we had a landfill, most people would gladly take their construction debris there rather than risk being caught illegally dumping it below a road. So our government should identify appropriate landfills. There are many possible sites. The park near Changlimithang, for example, is built mostly on land reclaimed using waste – mud and debris – from construction sites.

Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? So why don’t we have a proper site to dump construction waste? Probably because no government agency has taken the responsibility. I mean, whose job is it, after all? The City Corporation? The Dzongkhag Administration? Ministry of Works and Human Settlement? Department of Forests? I don’t know. But what seems obvious is that the job, whoever’s it is, is not being done.

So we, you and I, should tell our government that something needs to be done. We can tell our friends in the government. We can express our opinions in the media. We can write to the government agencies. We can write to the member of parliament concerned, South Thimphu, in this case.

We can also bring the issue to the NEC’s notice – this is what I’ll do.

And if nothing gets done, we can get together, as concerned citizens, to clean up the mess ourselves. This has been done in the past. And I’m sure RSPN will be very happy to organize another clean up campaign.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Anonymous says

    I am going with your concerns, Sir.
    The unethical dumping of construction waste is also directly related to some of the accidents that go un reported. It creates non civic behaviours and low morality of us to outside wotld. Govt. or whosesoever concerns should properly identify a suitable dumping site. The most ideal site could be reclaimation of river sites. The reclaimed sites could be best used for recreation purposes like building a safer archery ground.

  2. Anonymous says

    It’s everybody’s job to be responsible…you, me , the Government … and everyone who lives in Thimphu.
    Its everybody’s job to take care of the waste.

    While it might be the job of the Gvernment to tell people its their job too.

    Bhutanese need to learn waste management and there’s got to be more awareness on waste disposal…. even if it knocking on doors and telling them or penalising people for littering. i thought there was a policy that said anybody who litters would be fined. that policy shouold be enforced . there should be people to that.
    that will create jobs for patrols and given the record of the governement ( with MP salary, now the medical student allowance) no funds is just an excuse…

    policies need to stay and followed.


  1. […] readers have expressed similar concerns too. And, about six months ago, I wrote about why I sometimes raise issues without offering solutions. In other words, why I make “noise”. “Food for thought” sought to bring attention to the […]

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